This early self-portrait, in Van Dyck costume, is one of Wright's earliest surviving works produced when the artist would have been between 19 and 22 years old.

While the costume and conscious elegance of the pose reveal an awareness of established tradition, the expression conveys a sense of cool detachment and distance that separate the artist from the spectator and confirm his role as observer of nature. The clarity with which Wright rendered his own facial features in this early self-portrait was characteristic of the finest work of his career, the scientific paintings of the 1760s.


Leger Galleries.

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

The Strand, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1BS
01332 641 901

Opening times

Tue-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 12-4pm For Bank Holiday and Christmas opening times please check the website.

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